Fab is So, Well, Fab! And They’ll Even Give You $10 To Prove It

You may already be familiar with the flash sale site Fab.com that launched over the summer.  It rocks in a big way.  If your style vibe is retro/vintage inspired/whimsical/arty/don’t take yourself too seriously, it’s for you.  If it’s not, it’s worth checking out anyway.  You may find the options a bit hit or miss on any given day (the site typically features @ six or so new designers/artisans/product collections daily), but I promise you’ll find at least one must-have item in the course of a week.  And since the price points range from as little as $5.00 to as much as several thousand, there really is something for everyone – well, everyone who shares the above described esthetic.

And that really is the point – there is an incredibly strong product vision at work here, which tends to be missing in most other flash sale sites.  In the old days, this used to be called merchandising – picking the right product, combining it with the right product assortment so as to tell a compelling story, offering it at the right price point and displaying it in an appealing manner to a prospective customer that is likely to be receptive to it and want to buy it.  There are sadly almost no real merchants left anymore – there’s Mickey Drexler, who ran The Gap during its heyday in the 90s and more recently reinvented JCrew; Ron Johnson, the genius behind the Genius Bar and Apple Retail Stores, who is leaving shortly for JC Penney (I have no idea why); and no one else I can think of.  The Fab folks have restored my faith that some people understand there is more to building a successful retail business than a laser focus on reducing the number of shopping carts that are started and abandoned or maximizing the revenue per square foot – it requires a little art and a little magic.  And that, my friends, is called merchandising.  Not curation (which word should go the way of “synergy” unless used in reference to a museum or gallery exhibit), but merchandising.

Forbes has a nice piece on the company here.  Site is by membership only, BUT they’re running a deal now – if you use the link http://fab.com/wfente you’ll get a $10 free credit when you join.  The deal expires at 3:28pm ET on Friday, 9/16/11, so go to it.  It pays to know Spamothemag…

Advertisements

Kids Talking About Sex and Drugs – Is That Really So Bad?

That bastion of journalistic integrity, The Huffington Post, is launching a HuffPo High School vertical, which will be populated with posts by, not surprisingly, kids in high school.  Similarly, AOL’s hyper local effort, Patch, which is also overseen by Arianna Huffington, editorial doyenne of all things HuffPo and AOL, is seeking to recruit thousands of citizen bloggers as young as 13 years old.

What seems to have everyone’s panties in a twist beyond the usual argument about contributing bloggers to HuffPo going unpaid (which point I’ll address some other time) is the added wrinkle that with these new efforts they will be making money by “exploiting” child labor.  I don’t really see how this differs from Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, or any other social media site that provides us all with a free platform from which to express ourselves, share stuff, etc.  And since these platforms – did I mention they were free? – are not philanthropic efforts, they must support themselves with some form of income.  Don’t hear anyone complaining much about them…

Forbes was kind of outraged; Ad Age was down right apoplectic.  Am I missing something?